One thing I've always had a problem with, and I know other young indigenous people do too, is being told I'm too "white" to be Aboriginal.
I have never really felt like I was an Aboriginal man until this year, actually. Since speaking to my mother about it, she told me this great analogy: "It doesn't matter how much tea you have in a cup, it's still tea".
So, we've all heard about the debates about the change of Australia Day, I personally believe that the date should be changed due to the amount and severity of the actions done on the January 26 when Australia was invaded.
A lot of things changed for our First Nations people on this day: they were tricked with poison, thrown off cliffs and murdered in a lot of different ways.
A lot of the Aboriginal culture has been lost since that day.
And then there is the Stolen Generation - some of our grandparents suffered from those actions, some of them still not knowing where they originally came from or even who they are related to. They were stolen from their parents at a young age, weren't allowed to contact anyone they were related to, not allowed to speak their own language and had to marry white men or women to get rid of the colour of their skin and any facial features that resembled their Aboriginality.
For me now, I'm proud to be an Aboriginal man, I know what tribe my ancestors were from Kamilaroi Country and I love learning more about it.
One thing I would like to see changed isn't just the treatment of lighter skinned Indigenous people, but I do I want to see the stereotypes eventually disappear such as "Aboriginals are just alcoholics" and "Aboriginals are violent, thieves and get free stuff from the government".
I am a proud Kamilaroi man. Aboriginal to me means STRONG.
I want to see our culture and our past taught in our younger generations. Not only will these change the stereotypes, it will bring back our culture and other young men and women will begin to be proud of who they are as an Aboriginal just like I have since being taught about my culture, my ancestor past and actually being recognised as a Kamilaroi man.
- Tyler Bampfield writes for The Courier's youth platform SHOUT